What happens when you have an ACL Injury?
At the Markland clinic, we see lots of patients with acute injuries.
This is the Story from one of our clients (with some great knowledge mixed in!)
Back in September 2018, I was playing the first game of the season for Sheffield Medicals RUFC having played rugby for over 10 years without suffering a serious injury.
The weather that day was typical Yorkshire conditions…
Five minutes into the 2nd half I was sidestepping off my left leg when suddenly my knee buckled under my body but the rest of me kept moving and I heard a rather alarming popping sound!
Four months after the injury I had an MRI scan which diagnosed me with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and was booked in for surgical reconstruction.
The ACL is an important stabilising ligament found in the knee. Injury to the ACL is common amongst young people playing sport. Making up 40% of sports injuries (NHS, 2018).
Prior to surgery, so-called ‘pre-habilitation’ is very important for building up muscle strength, maintaining range of motion and reducing swelling.
I found it very difficult to motivate myself to complete the ‘pre-habilitation’ as in the back of my mind, I was always going to lose the strength following surgery but now I’ve been through it, I would recommend to anyone in a similar position to take prehab seriously given the post-operative benefits it can have.
Skip forward to May 2019, 9 months after the original injury, and I have just had a surgical ACL reconstruction using my hamstring tendon to replace the faulty ligament.
The operation went well and following an overnight stay in hospital I was discharged home to start the long process of rehabilitation.
My ultimate aim is to return to playing rugby again, which will take around 9-12 months of rehabilitation.
This is a daunting figure for anyone who has just a surgical procedure, but it is important to break down the rehab into manageable chunks.
I know that I’m not going to be able to go back to playing contact sport straight away, but my main focus currently is regaining strength and stability around the knee joint.
Being only 7 weeks post-op, exercises are very basic at the moment, but I am looking forward to progressing to the next stage, which will be to return to running.
I know that playing rugby again is a long way off, but each small milestone achieved is a step in the right direction.